Local News for Thursday 22nd March 2018

Respond quickly in Stornoway Trust vote
Residents of the Stornoway Trust area are being urged to vote as quickly as possible, when ballot packs in the forthcoming Trust election arrive today. The ballot papers are arriving by post, and are running late due to the unprecedented level of interest shown by candidates. 22 people are standing for just five available positions as trustee, with fiercely debated issues such as wind power and Sunday golf boosting the number of candidates. The most densely populated areas of Lewis are within the Stornoway Trust area, with all residents in Stornoway, Point, Broad Bay and parts of Lochs entitled to participate in the postal vote. The deadline to receive votes is on Tuesday March 27th, but with the unexpected interest in the positions, ballot papers took longer than usual to get printed. The packs arriving in the post today include all candidate statements, which the Stornoway Trust has printed and included in the envelope, although they are not legally obliged to do so. Trust factor Iain Maciver urged voters to read, vote and return the packs as soon as possible. If posted by Saturday, the votes should reach the Electoral Reform Services count centre in London in time. You can also vote in person at the Trust’s office in Perceval square between 8am and 8pm on Tuesday.

London men remembered at Iolaire memorial
Three stones from the banks of the River Thames will be among those laid in a cairn commemorating the loss of the Admiralty yacht Iolaire, which is to be unveiled tomorrow. The naval yacht sank off Stornoway, with the loss of 201 lives, almost 100 years ago, on January 1st 1919, and a programme of commemorations is planned throughout this year. The three stones were selected to represent crew members Albert Matthews, 22, 19-year-old William Stanley and 33-year-old Alfred Taylor, who were all from the city of London and who drowned in the wreck. They were collected by Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil during a break from business at the House of Commons recently, when he went to the shores of the Thames to lift the stones commemorating the three men. The plan to include stones from the home village or town of all victims was devised by pupils of the Nicolson Institute, who have collected stones in villages all over Lewis, Harris, Berneray and also from the home towns of the 20 victims who were not from the Isles. The memorial is to be unveiled by pupils in Carn Gardens, Stornoway, tomorrow at 11am. A bench donated by Stornoway Port Authority will also be put in place nearby.

Road repairs in Barra
Road repairs are starting in Barra on Monday, beginning west of Castlebay and continuing round to the East of the island over the next four weeks. During the hours of resurfacing work, suggested diversion signs will be in place. Delays of up to 20 minutes can be expected during these hours.